Our team comprises of book lovers who read books from all genres. This year, we decided to hold a Secret Santa book exchange and it was a lot of fun sending books to each other. As we begin 2024, we realized that we needed a list of must-read books and decided to ask for your recommendations. We were not disappointed with the suggestions we received.
Here are 20 of the suggested must-reads:
|Recommended Book Title & Author (Alpha Order)
|Why do you recommend it?
|Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
|A great urban fantasy that gets very little love. It’s well written with strong female characters and is inclusive with LGBTQ+. This is a trilogy, but I think the first book will get everyone hooked.
|Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
|The betrayals and secrets created an incredible family dynamic in this book that felt so real. The book is fast-paced, yet deep. It explores several cultural topics that make it good for a book club discussion.
|Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
|It’s hard to remember this is a work of complete fiction as you breeze through this easy-to-read story about one of the country’s famous families. This book is a mix of the Irish immigrant experience, America’s class issues, fashion history, and of course, incongruous love. A perfect vacation read or for someone who “hasn’t read in a while” and wants to get restarted. Easy and quick and satisfying.
|Chesapeake by James Michener
|The story deals with several families living in the Chesapeake Bay area around Virginia and Maryland, from 1583 to 1978
|Engaging insight into the world of disability justice from real people
|Don’t Overthink it by Anne Bogel
|Who doesn’t do this?
|For the People, For the Country: Patrick Henry’s Final Political Battle
|The book is a great examination of putting country before self, party, or ideology. Patrick Henry embodied the role of “Loyal Opposition,” something sorely lacking in our world today.
|Green Lights-Matthew McConaughey
|Not only is it the story of MM life but it is very inspiring.
|Home: A Short History of an Idea, by Witold Rybczynski
|Social History, Architecture
|If you’re nestled at home with a good book over the holidays, why not read how we came to define our living spaces, over hundreds of years of seemingly disparate elements and people? It’s not a new book, but one of my all-time faves.
|I Hear Smoke by Dr. Sherry A. White
|Story of how two families survive in the rural south from the 1930s through 1970s. The story is funny (in places) full of secrets, hardships, and loss. Could not wait to get to the next chapter to find out what the characters were up to. The ending was a surprise.
|Leah Nash Mysteries by Susan Hunter
|Excellent story telling, interesting characters, intrigue, romance, surprises
|Miss Fortune Mysteries by Jana DeLeon
|Mystery, Adventure, Comedy
|The characters are constantly getting into and out of hilarious situations. They are funny, lovable and very real. I loved every book.
|Ready or Not by Pam Parish
|Literature & Fiction
|Ready or Not is a guide into the heart of God to care for broken and wounded children.
|State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
|compelling story, couldn’t stop thinking about it when I was done. Wish I could read it for the first time again!
|The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese
|Verghese’s book Cutting for Stone is one of my all time favorites. His writing is just beautiful and he is able to magically capture the complexities of the human experience.
|The Measure by Nikki Erlick
|The Measure is essentially a story about love and relationships, and how each character and their loved ones deal with this extraordinary and frightening event.
|The Mountain is You by Brianna West
|Seeing things that are obstacles within before dealing with what’s without
|The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
|This is the latest in the series written by J.K. Rowling under a pen name. Completely different from the Harry Potter series, but has the same intricate plots and interesting characters. She is a master storyteller!
|The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
|If your a lover of music and had your coming of age in the 90s this book is perfect. It is an inspiring book that reminds the reader to live life to the fullest while being brave enough to take opportunities that arise.
|Untamed by Glennon Doyle
|This book does a phenomenal job of explaining the fine line of giving yourself grace to make mistakes and be who you truly are while still holding yourself accountable.
Have a suggestion or a thought on one of the books above? Leave a comment below!